business world; modestly, india goes in for a swim
The 2000-acre artificial river and cement ocean of DUGGERMARCH is painted for swimming-
The blue swimming pool, the Water Kingdom can almost pass through a theme park in Florida, if not because men with headscarves are swaying in the wave pool, and those women sailing along the water slide in pants and trousers --sleeved shirts.
But Mumbai is far from Orlando.
The water park here is built for people who can\'t swim;
It rents out swimsuits to women who never wear one.
Sarabjit Kaur is wearing long stretch trousers in black and loose T-
Shirt, shudder at the thought of one
Don\'t mind wearing a bikini.
\"Our culture does not allow us to do so,\" she said shyly . \"
Her husband, Tanjendar Singh Sodhi, is
\"Things are changing,\" explained the travel banker.
She wouldn\'t even wear this five years ago. Now she is.
\"Water amusement parks are on the rise across India, in New Delhi and Mumbai, in Madras and Hyderabad, in Ahmadinejad and Indore ---
In a country where tens of millions of people benefit from increasingly open markets, signs of change --
Economic growth has been strong over the past decade.
They have money to spend on luxury goods that their parents can never provide or even imagine.
Advertising in India may still be reminiscent of the exotic image of snake charmers, beggars, and jewelry kings, but a new middle class is emerging here, its members are busy doing the consumerist things the middle class is doing everywhere: buying a fridge, making phone calls and chatting, watching cable TV-
Rajen Shah, secretary general of the Indian Association of Amusement Parks and industries, said advertising \"Leisure is booming here \".
\"People go to the bowling alley or the swimming pool on a Sunday.
They will go to the Water Park next Sunday.
\'Gautam and Madhauri Varik are such a couple.
He has a small car room that uses Singapore circuits to assemble electronics.
She sells chemicals to the biotechnology laboratory.
Everyone has a master\'s degree and they earn about $4,000 a year, about five times the national average, in the upper middle class.
Their standard of living is much higher than that of their parents. Mr.
27-year-old Varik in
Room house for three other family members.
He lives with his wife who has no children.
Guest rooms: there is a kitchen with a refrigerator, a washing machine, a TV, a video recorder, a CD player and a telephone.
They enjoy their prosperity, but their lives are busier than those of their parents.
None of their mothers work,
The 30-year-old Varik\'s intensity of work and travel is almost as great as her husband\'s.
\"They have more free time than we do,\" she said to her parents generation, a little sad.
\"We work too hard.
Therefore, all kinds of things can be found to be convenient to relax.
They like to go out and play billiards, and they tried the water Kingdom for the first time on a recent Sunday.
\"A friend of mine brought his wife here . \"
When he was sitting next to a wading pool, Warwick said.
\"He insisted it was the best place to spend the weekend.
\"Economists warn that the purchasing power of middle-income people will not be generated in the middle of India\'s income range --
Class income in Western Europe or North America.
Iswar Natarajan, chief economist at the National Commission for Applied Economic Research in New Delhi, believes that a better term for this group may be the consumer class.
Using the survey data, he estimates that the number of families in this category has almost doubled over the past decade to 1,200, earning between $6,000 and $39 million a year.
This is equivalent to 0. 22 billion of India\'s 1 billion population.
Most people still can\'t afford it.
But they find their disposable income is still growing.
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The family of Ashok Goel owns 22-
Acre Water Kingdom Park has more than ten million customers last year. Mr.
A typical park visitor spent a total of about $5, including tickets, suits, locker rentals and snacks, Goel said;
In a water park in the United States, $5 may not even include parking fees.
Due to low labor costs and no off-season, the price of Indian parks is affordable-
In most parts of the country, the weather is warm all year round.
In addition to the price, parks such as the Water Kingdom also adapt to the needs of local customers in other ways.
Almost all the swimming pools are very shallow because very few Indians can swim. Goel said.
Most women rent shower gear and they can choose from styles that reveal as much or as little skin as possible.
The advertisement \"swimming equipment has been customized\"
\"It is done for the psychology of Indians \". Goel said.
\"You can go from wrist to ankle.
We have all kinds. But the two-
Pieces do not exist.
\"There are now about 80 large and small water parks in India, most of them open in the past few years . \"
In addition to leading the industry association, Shah served as general manager of Arihant Industrial, which produced waterslide and wave pools used in about 60 parks.
On the most recent Sunday, the Water Kingdom is full of fun scenes.
In the drifting River, there are young lovebirds floating in the inner tube; lumpy, out-of-
Create the image of people queuing up to buy chips and Coke
McDonald\'s website, as well as the family who surf in weitlantic.
Housewife Meenaxi Patel sits with a group of other women in her apartment building in the shallow pool of Goofers Lagoon, stroking through a giant inflatable crocodile.
\"We are here, and all the ladies and children are here, and there is no gentleman,\" she said . \".
\"My husband likes sports very much.
He will feel good if I go out with the kids.
He relaxed at home. My mother-in-
The law is there too, rest.
Like everyone else in the park.
Patel talked about freedom and fun in the park\'s big draw.
She is wearing her own colorful swimming suit, which covers her thighs and upper arms, but is very happy to be splashed with purple-red flowers, she said she and her friends put all
\"Women used to stay at home,\" she said . \".
\"They won\'t come out in these costumes.
But times have changed.
We want to enjoy it.
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A version of this article was printed on page 3003006 of the National edition on March 5, 2000 with the title: business world;
India will go swimming modestly.